Mastering the Art of Customizing Action Figures: The Best Brands to Get Started

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Action figures have been a beloved part of pop culture for decades. From superheroes and movie characters to sports icons and historical figures, these miniature collectibles capture our favorite characters and moments in exquisite detail. While many collectors are content with their action figures straight out of the box, there’s a passionate community of enthusiasts who love to customize their figures, adding personal touches and creating unique works of art.

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of action figure customization and explore some of the best action figure brands for those looking to embark on this creative journey. Whether you’re a seasoned customizer or a beginner, there’s something here for everyone.

The Art of Customizing Action Figures

How to customize figureis a rewarding and creative hobby that allows you to put your unique stamp on your collection. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to customize action figures:

1. Choose Your Base Figure:

The first step in customizing an action figure is selecting the base figure. This is the figure you’ll modify to create your custom character. Look for figures that have a similar body type or base structure to your desired character, as it will make the customization process smoother.

2. Gather Your Tools:

To customize your action figure, you’ll need some essential tools, including:

  • Sculpting Tools: These are used to add or reshape features on the figure, such as facial details, muscles, or clothing.
  • Paints: High-quality acrylic paints are a must for adding color and detail to your custom figure.
  • Brushes: Fine detail brushes are crucial for precision painting.
  • Sealants: Sealants like clear varnish protect your paint job and add a professional finish.
  • Safety Equipment: Don’t forget safety goggles, dust masks, and gloves when working with materials like sculpting putty and paint.

3. Plan Your Design:

Before you start customizing, plan your figure’s design. This includes deciding on the character’s appearance, costume, and any special features or accessories you want to include.

4. Sculpt and Modify:

Use your sculpting tools and putty to add or modify features on the base figure. This is where your creativity can shine. Whether you’re sculpting a unique face, adding armor, or creating intricate details, take your time to ensure precision.

5. Paint:

Once the sculpting is complete and dry, it’s time to paint your figure. Start with a primer to ensure the paint adheres well. Then, layer on your chosen colors, paying close attention to detail. Be patient and let each layer dry before applying the next one.

6. Seal and Protect:

After you’re satisfied with the paint job, seal your figure with a clear varnish or sealant. This step not only protects your work but also gives your custom figure a polished finish.

7. Add Accessories:

To complete your custom figure, add any accessories, props, or weapons that your character needs. This can include capes, weapons, or even custom-made bases for display.

8. Display and Share:

Once your custom figure is ready, proudly display it in your collection or share it with the action figure customization community. Many enthusiasts showcase their creations on social media platforms like Instagram and forums dedicated to custom figures.

Best Action Figure Brands for Customization

Now that you have a grasp of the customization process, let’s explore some of thebest action figure brands that provide excellent figures for customization:

1. Hasbro:

Hasbro is known for producing action figures based on popular franchises like Marvel, Star Wars, and Transformers. Their figures are widely available, making them a great choice for customizers looking for a diverse range of characters to modify.

2. NECA (National Entertainment Collectibles Association):

NECA specializes in highly detailed figures from movies, video games, and comics. Their figures are known for their exceptional sculpting and attention to detail, making them a favorite among customizers.

3. McFarlane Toys:

McFarlane Toys, founded by renowned comic book artist Todd McFarlane, produces figures that often feature highly articulated joints and intricate sculpting. These figures are ideal for customizers who want to modify poses and create dynamic action scenes.

4. MezcoToyz:

MezcoToyz produces high-end, 1/12 scale figures with incredible detail and articulation. These figures provide a great canvas for customization, and their cloth costumes add an extra layer of realism.

5. Tamashii Nations:

Tamashii Nations produces the S.H. Figuarts line, known for its poseability and high-quality sculpts. These figures are a favorite among collectors and customizers who appreciate the attention to detail.

6. Custom Figure Artists:

In addition to brand-name figures, consider supporting independent custom figure artists who sell their creations online. These artists often produce one-of-a-kind figures and offer customization services, allowing you to collaborate on a unique piece.


Customizing action figures is a fulfilling hobby that allows you to express your creativity and passion for your favorite characters. With the right tools, techniques, and a quality base figure, you can turn a standard action figure into a unique work of art that stands out in your collection.

When choosing the best action figure brands for customization, consider your specific preferences, the level of detail you desire, and the availability of figures from your favorite franchises. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced customizer, there’s a world of possibilities waiting for you in the realm of action figure customization. So, pick up your tools, unleash your creativity, and bring your favorite characters to life in a way that’s uniquely yours. Happy customizing!

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